To what extent do we inspect fireplace operation-specifically Heat-a-Laters or gas igniters. Do we try to light them? I not, what do we report regarding operation?
I. The inspector shall inspect:
[INDENT]A. The fireplace, and open and close the damper door if readily accessible and operable.
B. Hearth extensions and other permanently installed components.
C. And report as in need of repair deficiencies in the lintel, hearth and material surrounding the fireplace, including fireplace opening clearance from visible combustible materials.
II. The inspector is not required to:
A. Inspect the flue or vent system.
B. Inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.
C. Determine the need for a chimney sweep.
D. Operate gas fireplace inserts.
E. Light pilot flames.
F. Determine the appropriateness of any installation.
G. Inspect automatic fuel feed devices.
H. Inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.
I. Inspect heat distribution assists whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.
J. Ignite or extinguish fires.
K. Determine adequacy of draft or draft characteristics.
L. Move fireplace inserts, stoves, or firebox contents.
M. Perform a smoke test.
N. Dismantle or remove any component.
O. Perform a National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) style inspection.
If it has an electronic (switch) or push button ignitor, I attempt to light the flame. If I can’t get it lit, I say this:
“We were unable to activate the gas logs, which is not unusual. You should have the homeowner/builder demonstrate its operation and transfer any operating manuals to you.”
If the gas was turned off anywhere, I say this: “The gas was turned off at the fire logs and the log set was not tested, consistent with our inspection agreement. You should have the homeowner/builder demonstrate the operation of the gas logs and transfer any operating manuals to you.”